Yard tools and equipment doesn't always last as long as it should. This is partially due to the fact that we don't always take care of our tools like we could. We've put together a few of our favorite tips and tricks to help you extend the life of your yard tools. These are tried and true, but I bet there are a few you haven't heard of before.
Best Blade Cleaner
Fill a tall bucket (as tall as your blades) with dry sand. If you are using natural beach sand, be sure it's a bit on the coarse side. If you don't happen to live near the beach where you can collect your own, sand can be purchased from your local lawn and garden store.
Using a mixture of lubricating oil (WD-40 is perfect) and vegetable oil, mix it with the sand until the sand is moist throughout.
Gather up your tools, --anything with a blade, including hoes, trowels, and shovels. Use a putty knife to remove any caked on debris. Plunge your tools into the sandy mixture and place the bucket in a cool, dry place. After a couple of weeks you'll see a transformation has begun. When you remove them, just wipe with a burlap or coarse cloth and they will polish right up. For permanent storage, hang your yard tools conveniently from a garden tool garage storage rack. Keep fertilizers and other plant food on garage shelving in the same area as your tools for easy access.
Treating Wooden Handles
You'll greatly extend the life of your wooden handled yard tools by protecting the grain. A wood preservative, such as linseed oil or Tung oil are ideal. In order to do this properly, you'll need to remove the thin coat of varnish from the manufacturer. Using sandpaper with a fine grit, gently rub the wood, then use a soft cloth to apply the oil.
Helping Your Garden Hoses
My grandparents had the same garden hose for as long as I can remember. They knew the following little secrets:
- Don't kink your garden hose to make it stop spraying. This might be convenient for the moment, but it will weaken the area and cause the hose to split. Invest in a quality garden spray nozzle.
- Can you imagine what would happen to a person who laid out in the sun 24/7? Over time, the sun damages your garden hose much the same way. A sun damaged hose is a sad sight indeed, with bulges at various points it looks like a snake that swallowed a rat. Some hoses, mainly soakers, will disintegrate if left out in the ultraviolet rays. When not in use, coil your hoses in a figure eight and hang them from your garage hook or place on garage shelving. Before putting your hose away for any length of time, be sure to drain it of any remaining water.
There's you have it. Your garden tools don't have to be replaced every season. Using these tips you'll extend the life of your tools and have money left over for other things